Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Johnson savaged PM's Brexit plan during meeting

BBC Newsnight BBCMr Watt insisted a Brexiteer he spoke with declared the Chequers plan will be in'trouble by Monday
Ginger Lawrence | 09 July, 2018, 02:39

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had backed the proposals at Chequers despite claiming that defending the plans was like 'polishing a t***' during the meeting. "That is not something that this country voted for, it is not what the Prime Minister promised".

Pro-EU Tory Anna Soubry said she would "always welcome" a policy that delivers a "business friendly Brexit", adding that she had "no doubt" the prime minister would now enforce Cabinet discipline.

The proposal, set out by Mrs May in a document more than 100 pages long and distributed to ministers only on Thursday, has sparked fury in the Leave camp and prompted speculation that cabinet Brexiteers, like Ms Mordaunt, could be ready to walk out of the government.

Just 48 letters from MPs are needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in Mrs May, but it is understood the PM's team is increasingly confident that she will be able to see off any bid to topple her.

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland programme, Mr Russell questioned whether the proposals would be acceptable to remaining European Union member states and to hardline Brexiteers within the Conservative Party.

Mr Russell said: "We may be on a journey, it may not be a journey however that Theresa May is capable of taking, given her party".

Others have urged Jacob Rees-Mogg to stand, the paper reports.

The Prime Minister was then quick to be the first to get out her version of what had been agreed by giving an interview to the BBC's political editor who had been waiting all day.

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Appearing on the BBC's The Andrew Marr sShow on Sunday, he said: "I'm a realist and one of the things about politics is you mustn't, you shouldn't, make the flawless the enemy of the good".

In a statement released late in the evening, she said the 26 cabinet members in attendance reached a "collective" agreement that would see the United Kingdom agree to negotiate a "common rulebook for all goods" in a combined customs territory.

He said he would "listen to what the Prime Minister has got to say on Monday evening at the 1922 Committee" before deciding what action to take.

The former permanent secretary for worldwide trade believes that Theresa May's Chequers plan for Brexit is "better than no deal".

Mr Bridgen said he was "deeply disappointed" with Brexiteer ministers that they "didn't pick up the cudgels and prevent the Cabinet supporting this offer which I think is a huge mistake for our country, for the party, for the Government and for the Prime Minister". "If the EU says we have to be in the European Economic Area [an even softer Brexit] and accept free movement, the party will blow up".

She seems to have reassured pro-Brexit ministers that under the new negotiating position Britain will still be able to seek trade deals with the rest of the world, easing fears that mirroring European Union rules for goods would rule that out.

He added: 'The EU has never been keen to facilitate a breaking up of an approach toward the single market in terms of keeping all of the elements of the single market intact and consistent, so I think Britain will find it hard to persuade the EU to support the approach they're now proposing.

'Michel Barnier will be a very, very strong defender of the EU interests here, in terms of protecting the integrity of the single market and the integrity of the EU customs union'.